Late last month the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled that football players at Northwestern University qualify as employees under federal law and can therefore unionize. The decision has been divisive. While some applaud the move to provide players with more rights and financial compensation, others fear that the collegiate athletic system will be destroyed by the move.
After years of controversial cuts to higher education, Michigan has begun reinvesting in its colleges and universities. Last month, Governor Rick Snyder proposed a 6.1 percent spending hike for Michigan’s 15 state-funded colleges and universities. Higher education officials applauded the move, which would be contingent on universities limiting tuition increases.
In reaction to the provision, Wayne State University issued a press release which calls the legislation “punishment” for a proposed contract within the legal requirements of Michigan’s Right to Work law.
Yesterday the House Higher Education Appropriations Subcommittee proposed a plan that would cut state revenue to universities that approve new long-term contracts with faculty unions. Several schools including the University of Michigan and Wayne State University have been pursuing the new contracts to delay the impact of Michigan’s new Right to Work law, which is set to take effect next week.
Democratic State Representative Sam Singh of East Lansing sits on the House appropriations committee and education appropriation subcommittees. We welcome the first-termer back to Current State to get his thoughts on what’s happening at the state capitol, including a last-minute bill that would make major cuts to universities that do not meet the new union contract rules.
Today on Current State: Coverage of Lansing Mayor Virg Bernero's "State of the City" address, a tour of the R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, MIRS' Craig Mauger discusses his lengthy interview with House Speaker Jase Bolger, and the economic impact of Michigan's public universities.